Saturday, February 28, 2009

while I've been away

At the time of my last post, I was getting pretty discouraged about the progression of my relapse. I called my doctor and the nurse practitioner to see what was the next step. An appointment was scheduled for Tuesday to review my symptoms. When I was there, Dr. Panitch decided that I should go in for an MRI, to see if I had any active lesions on my brain or upper spine. In reviewing the films, it was discovered that I had a fairly large lesion at the top of my spine that would explain they symptoms that I had been having - the loss of feeling and use of my left arm being the most dramatic symptom.

Dr. Panitch called me on Thursday evening to tell me about the results of the MRI. He suggested that we try plasmapheresis since the steroid treatments and the IVIG hadn't worked. Antibodies are transported in the plasma, so the theory is that, by removing my plasma, the antibodies that have been attacking my nerves would be removed as well. I was admitted that night.

My understanding was that I would be admitted for a couple of days to see how I reacted to the treatment, and then be discharged to finish the remaining treatments as an outpatient. Before anything could be started, however, I had to have an Ash Split inserted into my chest for the procedures. When I was admitted on Thursday night, I was told that this would be put in early the next day. Unfortunately, I had to wait until late afternoon on Friday for this to happen. At this point it was too late to start plasmapheresis, so I would have my first treatment on Saturday morning.